Every so often, I ponder trying to sell this idea. See, I have several opinions as to why the US can’t seem to get behind bullet trains, and they almost all boil down to public apathy of one form or another. There’s just not a push.
I am pretty certain that once somebody gets an effective train in action, others will come running. But an effective bullet train PR campaign is not going to be “just a faster commuter”. That doesn’t sell it, it just makes it more popular for those already using the train.
Solution: Disneyland to Disneyworld Express. The Magic Moving Kingdom.
It’s approximately 2500 miles from DL to DW. A bullet train travels at ~200 mph. That’s just over 12 hours from end to end — add half an hour if you want to stop in, say, New Orleans. Set your imagineers loose on the internals, but the basic deal is that this is primarily an overnighter that leaves each the park after the fireworks. Yes, that may mean arriving well after the welcome during the summer. Even in the winter… Disneyland in the winter closes at 8. If the train leaves at 9 (to allow everyone boarding to get through the gates) and it takes 13 hours PLUS allowing for time zones (four hours), that’s 2 pm EST for the DW arrival. Going the other way it’s a bit easier even though the fireworks start an hour later. Leave at 10, add 13 hours but SUBTRACT 4 for the time zones, and… yuck, it’s three hours before the park opens. Somehow I think this can be worked upon with a combination of adjusted speeds and start/end times.
Treat it solely as a tourist attraction at first. Then quietly point out to various businesses that for the same price as good airfare you can cross the nation in comfort — too bad it’s only to Orlando.
If Disney wanted to diversify, the next route is New York City to Orlando, this one with a couple of additional stops. Third either extends that leg to Chicago or runs the DL end up to Seattle. Add one or two more trains. One “daytripper” that starts from either end that leaves in the morning (nominally so you can get to the park before the closing parades and fireworks), and an “Opener Special” for west to east that’s mean to put you in Disney World in time to see the morning Welcome — with a balancer going back the other way, maybe.
But the seller, and the profitable proof of concept, is the Moving Magic. Once it’s in place, others will follow the mouse.